Yes, I lost my extreme desire for junk food and for overeating as well.
This wasn’t an act of will. And it wasn’t luck, either.
Losing my cravings for bad food – and for too much food – was the result of something else entirely. And that is what I’d like to explain to you in this article.
Before I get started, let me be clear about a few of things:
1. I am not about to present a magic formula that promises to end your food cravings. I did not go through a step-by-step process.
2. I don’t promise that you can do what I did, or that it would “work” for you, even if you attempted my methodology and succeeded.
3. There is no scientific evidence that I know of that supports my claims. In fact, what I did is not even possible to study scientifically.
4. I am not suggesting that my food cravings will never return. They haven’t, in fact, and it has been quite some time. Yet there are no guarantees, are there?
5. Finally, there is a good chance that by the end of this article you will think that I am crazy. I accept.
How’s that for reassurance?
In short, you’re on your own. You and only you can decide if what I am about to relate makes any sense – and whether or not to believe me.
Here’s How It Happened
Over a course of years, I have developed a deep awareness of my feelings. I am 47 years old at this point. At age 24, through the course of my NLP training, I learned that I was almost totally out of touch with my own feelings. I couldn’t tell you what I was feeling. I couldn’t admit when I was afraid, frustrated or angry – or happy, joyful or enthusiastic, either.
I was Mr. Cool, Calm and Collected. No feelings required!
Of course “Mr. Cool” was a facade and I ultimately felt like a fake, especially given my chosen career.
When this hit me, I vowed to get in touch. It took some time. More than 20 years later, I have developed facility with my feelings and am unafraid to confront them, admit what I am going through and deal with feelings honestly.
All the while, though, I couldn’t control my eating. And yo-yo dieting was in full swing.
I wondered one day why, after all I had learned, I still entered an emotional zone of simply not caring about my health. I suffered from health apathy. When I would indulge my cravings, my favorite thing to say was Screw it! Who cares? Then, I’d plunge into the delectable junk.
Why do I not care? Why do I not care? I’d ask myself over and over.
It turns out that this was the wrong question, with no answers that actually helped me stop indulging – or stop craving. When the right question occurred to me, it was a revelation.
I had been studying psychological attachments – those nasty negative motivators that lure us straight into the jaws of misery. So, I began to wonder what negative feelings I was unwittingly reinforcing by my bad eating habits.
I asked myself: What happens after I don’t care and eat too much? What subconscious, state am I feeding?
The answer hit me: Humiliation.
After food indulgence, I always felt humiliated, like I was humiliating myself by my lack of self-control and excess weight. Was I attached to an unresolved feeling of humiliation deep within my psyche? Would that make sense, given my upbringing and choices in adult life?
Yes. More than I can explain.
In fact, I began to notice just how often I interpreted the world in ways that left me feeling humiliated, whether I acknowledged it or not.
• When I’d walk into a room of people, I assumed they would find something wrong with me.
• I insisted on personal perfection. If I made a mistake, especially in public, I’d feel instantly humiliated.
• When I made private mistakes, I was sure that people could tell, wherever I went.
It was like I was bent on finding any reason at all to feel bad, less than and that I didn’t belong.
And I didn’t seem to have a boundary between my thoughts and the thoughts of others. I somehow assumed that I knew what they were thinking – and that I was an open target for their perpetual criticism. It was horrible.
The spare tire around my midsection and the puff beneath my chin were among the high priority targets. I was absolutely embarrassed to go out in public and would suffer through every social encounter.
I was mentally setting myself up to feel humiliated as if I needed it. And, if I am honest, I secretly found a perverse sense of self-justification in all of it. Somehow, it felt right – like this space was where I belonged.
So….I admitted it. I said to myself: All of these years I have been unwittingly seeking out this feeling of humiliation, as if I were addicted to it. I don’t even know how to stop!
Or, to be frank, I didn’t really want to stop.
Then, I took it one mildly insane step further. I made an agreement with myself that if I loved humiliation that much, I’d just give in to it.
I love humiliation! I was raised on it, after all. I’ve been subconsciously seeking it throughout my life, so I’ll just feel it, like it and revel in self-induced humiliation!
As crazy as it sounds, I spent some time really enjoying humiliation. I’d find some reason to feel humiliated and then say: Ooh there it is, that sweet, lowdown feeling that I’ve come to love….
In other words, I STOPPED fearing humiliation.
Rather, I embraced it. Little did I know that this was where the miracle was to begin. You see, humiliation became rather humdrum after a while. I started to think: You know, I could take it or leave it. It just wasn’t a big deal. No reason to avoid it. No reason to seek it out.
And no reason to do anything that ultimately caused me to feel humiliated in the end. That’s when my food cravings came to an end. I’d walk into a convenience store – or my own kitchen – and think: Nah, I don’t really feel like eating. Strange. And I didn’t feel like it. The lure of ultimate humiliation through food indulgence had passed.
Interestingly, I also stopped obsessing about my weight. I knew the pounds were coming off, but wasn’t impatient about it like I used to be. I didn’t count calories, go on extreme diets or exercise myself into a frenzy.
Given who I am and what I do for a living, I also started introducing this odd approach to my coaching clients. And I recently founded a very different kind of weight loss support group online that I both facilitate and participate in. I knew that if my bizarre discovery worked for me, it would work for many others, too.
This approach is not for everyone, but it works wonders for people who get it. It’s not wrong to think it is ridiculous, of course, but for people who can identify with it, there is a real opportunity to change your life for the better.
It boils down to this: When you discover and embrace the underlying, often twisted motivation for food, you release your attachment to it. Food no longer serves that subconscious purpose. And you are free to enjoy the food you naturally want.
Beyond that, your life greatly improves in other areas as well, as you can imagine.
This is how it worked for me – and for others whom I have mentored. Will it work for you? I don’t know. Maybe it takes believing that it will. Maybe it’s all a grand scheme to outsmart yourself – psychological self-trickery. But it absolutely works for some of us.
And you know what? Life is better because of it. That’s enough for me.
If you want to inquire about our online weight loss support group, contact me via this page. We don’t advertise this group or have a registration page on our site. We screen people who may want to attend to determine appropriateness. So, just be in touch and we’ll figure out if it is right for you.
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